Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 160 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2019

Functionality Status:  Water Flowing - Needs Attention

Last Checkup: 04/02/2024

Project Features

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Welcome to Samisbei Village, located in a vegetated valley of Nandi County. It is home to 160 people. Each morning the villagers wake up and head out to their farms where they cultivate cash crops of tea, bananas, and sugarcane. Some others keep cattle or sell goods in small shops and kiosks to put food on the table. Women also grow much of the food they need to eat each day in their kitchen gardens.


Water for washing, cooking, drinking, and farming is collected at Isaac Rutoh Spring. Members of the community bring their containers and dip them into the pool of water which has leaves and green patches of scum floating on the top. They stand on rocks in the pool so as to reach the deeper parts. Sometimes they even scoop water into their hands and drink it right there.

According to one of the community members, Caroline Mmboga, their water gets dirtied every day due to it being used by illicit brewers of a dangerous alcohol called "chang'aa." Caroline said that the brewers fetch the water with dirty containers, contaminating it with a strong smell. The families living around here know that if their spring is protected, the illicit brewers will not be able to contaminate their water with smelly alcohol containers.


The majority of people have clotheslines to hang their clothes on, dish racks to dry their utensils on, and bathing rooms for taking showers.

However, many people don't have safe latrines as the present ones are made of wooden floors and mud walls which crack easily and fall down - forcing people to use them during evening hours and on special circumstances only to save them the shame of being seen using the latrines through the crumbling walls.

Here’s what we’re going to do about it:


Community members will attend hygiene and sanitation training for at least two days. This training will ensure participants have the knowledge they need about healthy practices and their importance. The facilitator plans to use PHAST (Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation), CLTS (Community-Led Total Sanitation), ABCD (Asset-Based Community Development), group discussions, handouts, and demonstrations at the spring. One of the most important topics we plan to cover is the handling, storage, and treatment of water. Having a clean water source will be extremely helpful, but it is useless if water gets contaminated by the time it’s consumed. Handwashing will also be a big topic.

Training will also result in the formation of a committee that will oversee operations and maintenance at the spring. They will enforce proper behavior around the spring and delegate tasks that will help preserve the site, such as building a fence and digging proper drainage. The fence will keep out destructive animals, and the drainage will keep the area’s mosquito population at a minimum.

Sanitation Platforms

On the final day of training, participants will select five families that should benefit from new latrine floors.

Training will also inform the community and selected families on what they need to contribute to make this project a success. They must mobilize locally available materials, such as bricks, clean sand, hardcore, and ballast. The five families chosen for sanitation platforms must prepare by sinking a pit for the sanitation platforms to be placed over. All community members must work together to make sure that accommodations and food are always provided for the work teams.

Spring Protection

Protecting the spring will ensure that the water is safe, adequate and secure. Construction will keep surface runoff and other contaminants out of the water. With the community’s high involvement in the process, there should be a good sense of responsibility and ownership for the new clean water source.

Fetching water is predominantly a female role, done by both women and young girls. Protecting the spring and offering training and support will, therefore, help empower the female members of the community by giving them more time and efforts to engage and invest in income-generating activities.

Project Updates

June, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Samisbei Community, Isaac Rutoh Spring

Our teams are working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Join us in our fight against the virus while maintaining access to clean, reliable water.

Trainer Shigali demonstrates handwashing with a new tippy tap

We are carrying out awareness and prevention trainings on the virus in every community we serve. Very often, our teams are the first (and only) to bring news and information of the virus to rural communities like Samisbei, Kenya.

We trained more than 15 people on the symptoms, transmission routes, and prevention of COVID-19. Due to public gathering concerns, we worked with trusted community leaders to gather a select group of community members who would then relay the information learned to the rest of their family and friends.

Guiding a community member on tippy tap use

We covered essential hygiene lessons:

- Demonstrations on how to build a simple handwashing station

- Proper handwashing technique

- The importance of using soap and clean water for handwashing

- Cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces including at the water point.

Homemade mask sample made at training

We covered COVID-19-specific guidance in line with national and international standards:

- Information on the symptoms and transmission routes of COVID-19

- What social distancing is and how to practice it

- How to cough into an elbow

- Alternative ways to greet people without handshakes, fist bumps, etc.

- How to make and properly wear a facemask.

Community members practice the 10 steps of handwashing

During training, we installed a new handwashing station with soap near the community’s water point, along with a sign with reminders of what we covered.

Due to the rampant spread of misinformation about COVID-19, we also dedicated time to a question and answer session to help debunk rumors about the disease and provide extra information where needed.

Reviewing the prevention reminders chart

We continue to stay in touch with this community as the pandemic progresses. We want to ensure their water point remains functional and their community stays informed about the virus.

A boy shows the informational pamphlet on COVID-19 received at training

Water access, sanitation, and hygiene are at the crux of disease prevention. You can directly support our work on the frontlines of COVID-19 prevention in all of the communities we serve while maintaining their access to safe, clean, and reliable water.

October, 2019: Giving Update: Samisbei Community, Isaac Rutoh Spring

A year ago, your generous donation helped Samisbei Community in Kenya access clean water.

There’s an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water at Isaac Rutoh Spring in Samisbei. Month after month, their giving supports ongoing sustainability programs that help this community maintain access to safe, reliable water. Read more…

February, 2019: Samisbei Community, Isaac Rutoh Spring Project Complete

Samisbei Community is celebrating their new protected spring, so celebrate with them! Isaac Rutoh Spring has been transformed into a flowing, safe source of water thanks to your donation. The spring is protected from contamination, five sanitation platforms have been provided for the community, and training has been done on sanitation and hygiene.

Spring Protection

Construction at Isaac Rutoh Spring was successful and water is now flowing from the discharge pipe.

"This is a historic moment for us, for we have never seen such a wonderfully protected spring in our area. We are glad to be the beneficiaries of such a project and we believe that this new water point is going to change our lives completely through access to safe clean water," said Mr. Magoy.

On the day of training, the participants were deliberating an amendment to the name "Samisbei" Village, which is a term from Nandi tribe meaning "bad water." They are thinking about changing it to "good water," which in the local dialect will now be "Tililenbei" Village.

"Our water is smelling very sweet now unlike in previous days, where you could not even stay for long at the unprotected spring because of the bad smell that was coming from the water," remembered Mrs. Mmboga.

"Even a passerby can now quench his or her thirst from this new and beautifully constructed spring confidently, which discharges very clean and safe water."

The Process:

Community members provided all locally available construction materials, e.g bricks, wheelbarrows of clean sand, wheelbarrows of ballast, and gravel. Community members also hosted our artisans for the duration of construction.

The spring area was excavated with jembes, hoes, and spades to create space for setting the foundation of polyethylene, wire mesh, and concrete.

Working together to excavate and make room for the foundation

After the base had been set, both wing walls and the headwall were set in place using brickwork. The discharge pipe was fixed low in place through the headwall to direct the water from the reservoir to the drawing area.

As the wing walls and headwall cured, the stairs were set and ceramic tiles were fixed directly below the discharge pipe. This protects the concrete from the erosive force of the falling water and beautifies the spring. The process of plastering the headwall and wing walls on both sides reinforces the brickwork and prevents water from the reservoir from seeping through the walls and allows pressure to build in the collection box to push water up through the discharge pipe.

Plastering over the brickwork

The source area was filled up with clean stones and sand and covered with a polyethylene membrane to eliminate any potential sources of contamination.

The concrete dried over the course of five days. The community plans to plant grass around the spring area to prevent soil erosion and has already put up a fence to protect the construction from wild animals.

With this spring now handed over to the community, we will continue to follow up with the water committee to make sure everything runs smoothly.

Sanitation Platforms

All five sanitation platforms have been installed and make wonderful, easy to clean latrine floors. These five families are happy about this milestone of having a latrine of their own. We are continuing to encourage families to finish building walls and roofs over their new latrine floors.

New Knowledge

The community has been trained to form a very strong management committee that will oversee all the activities carried out at the spring. Also, the group is being advised to always seek the advice of our organization when there is a major issue that may require our help.

This all happened during training, which had a huge attendance of 25 community members. This exceeded our expectations of 20; there were even five children who joined their parents. It was a bright morning with lots of sunshine. Due to the hot weather, we had to hold our training under the shade provided by trees within the compound of Mrs. Caroline Mmboga, our contact person.

Several topics were covered during the training, such as personal and environmental hygiene, common local diseases and their prevention, and care of the water point. The ten steps of handwashing were demonstrated, along with demonstrations for dental hygiene and water treatment.

The level of participation was very high as many of the participants were active by asking questions concerning the management of the spring, issues of cleanliness of the spring, and the use of mosquito nets.

Participants were able to learn the importance of washing hands with soap in order to kill germs that cause diseases. The facilitator encouraged the participants to put up improvised leaky tin handwashing stations by showing them how to make them using empty plastic containers of 3 to 10 liters and placing them near the latrines with a soap.

"All the lessons that we have learned today are really informative as well as a wake-up call to us to take hygiene issues more seriously and adhere to every aspect of instructions given," said Mrs. Tenai.

"Those of us who have been using mosquito nets to fence vegetables are going to remove them and use the right item for the intended purpose. Also, the idea of improvising a leaky tin using plastic containers is going to help us a lot to regularly wash our hands even when there is no food to eat."

Thank You for making all of this possible!

January, 2019: Samisbei Community Project Underway

Dirty water from Isaac Rutoh Spring is making people in Samisbei Community sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to build a clean water point and much more.

Get to know this community through the narrative and pictures we’ve posted, and read about this water, sanitation and hygiene project. We look forward to reaching out with more good news!

Project Photos

Project Type

Springs are water sources that come from deep underground, where the water is filtered through natural layers until it is clean enough to drink. Once the water pushes through the surface of the Earth, however, outside elements like waste and runoff can contaminate the water quickly. We protect spring sources from contamination with a simple waterproof cement structure surrounding layers of clay, stone, and soil. This construction channels the spring’s water through a discharge pipe, making water collection easier, faster, and cleaner. Each spring protection also includes a chlorine dispenser at the waterpoint so community members can be assured that the water they are drinking is entirely safe. Learn more here!

Giving Update: Samisbei Community, Isaac Rutoh Spring

October, 2019

Your generous donation helped Samisbei Community in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Calvin Kipchumba. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Samisbei Community.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Samisbei Community maintain access to safe, reliable water. Together, they keep The Water Promise.

We’re confident you'll love joining this world-changing group committed to sustainability!

Field Officer Wilson Kipchoge recently visited Isaac Rutoh Spring in Samisbei to check up on the spring and interview community members about the project's impact since completion. Wilson shared the following reflection from his visit:

"The beneficiaries of this project have really been transformed from one step to another by providing them with safe drinking water and sound sanitation...Before this project was done, the beneficiaries used to fetch dirty water from the spring to be used for both drinking and other domestic chores. Since the completion, the community members are getting safe water from the protected spring which now gives them hope of better health.

Moreover, [their]  sanitation status has also improved with the provision of slabs for the latrines which are safer and easy to clean and above all [have] the ability to [be] removed and put on a new pit when the older one gets filled up...Diseases related to dirty water and lack of proper sanitation have been dealt with due to the presence of these facilities."

Calvin Kipchumba is a young man in Samisbei who depends on Isaac Rutoh Spring for his daily water needs. Calvin met up with Field Officer Wilson at the spring to share his thoughts on the project.

FIeld Officer Wilson Kipchoge with Calvin Kipchumba at the spring

"This project has really helped us and our neighbors in a very special way. The water that comes from the pipe is so clean and sweet, which means that it is very safe for us to [be] drinking without the fear of getting water-related diseases like cholera and typhoid."

"In the previous years, we were suffering from consuming water from a very dirty spring which [was] very open to contamination, especially dirt from containers used for storing local liquor known as chang'aa which could make the water very smelly and unsafe for drinking. Also, nowadays you can accept [an] invitation to visit a friend within the area because there is [an] assurance of safe latrines."

Wilison with Faith Lukhanji at the spring

11-year-old Faith Lukhanji was also at the spring and reflected on what the project has meant to her as a young girl and student in her village.

"Every day I drink clean and safe water from our spring," Faith said.

"The water from this spring does not make us sick or even cause our parents to spend money to buy chemicals to treat the water because our water is clean. We thank all the people who helped us to get safe water and reduce diseases that would always make us be absent from school."

Navigating through intense dry spells, performing preventative maintenance, conducting quality repairs when needed and continuing to assist community leaders to manage water points are all normal parts of keeping projects sustainable. The Water Promise community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Samisbei Community maintain access to safe, reliable water.

We’d love for you to join this world-changing group committed to sustainability.

The most impactful way to continue your support of Samisbei Community – and hundreds of other places just like this – is by joining our community of monthly givers.

Your monthly giving will help provide clean water, every month... keeping The Water Promise.


2 individual donor(s)